This article was scientifically fact-checked by Human Sexuality expert Dr. Laurie Mintz.
Ever get told that life’s too short to spend it in bed? We don’t always agree, but we do think that sexual pleasure is not something that should be confined to the mattress. Sex* shouldn’t be confined at all – unless you’re into that – and millions of pages in thousands of books have been devoted to finding new sex positions, in new locations, to cater to new sexual tastes and ever more experienced appetites. Some of these sexual positions require study, flexibility, imagination and patience. Others, though, are simple, fun and easy, and don’t require a warm up.
We’re all about offering pleasure for every ability level, so check out our list of the top five standing sex positions – you’re sure to find something that’ll be worthy of a standing ‘O’ or two! We’ve also given pros and cons for each but since everyone differs, one person’s pro (e.g., deep penetration) can be another person’s con, so adapt accordingly!
5. The Necklace Of Venus
Technically, only the thrusting partners stands in the “Necklace” position, but we wanted to include it anyway. The receiver reclines backwards on a firm surface like a countertop or table, and the raises their legs to wrap their ankles around the back of their partner’s neck. The surface beneath you keeps you from feeling like you’re totally free-falling, and allows you to use your elbows to prop yourself up if that’s a better angle.
This sex position is perfect for quick, passionate sexual encounters on a desk, a sink, the hood of a car or anywhere else flat and firm.
Pros:This position offers deep penetration, and because the receiver’s body weight is as supported as they’re comfortable with, the thrusting partner can be as energetic as they’re able. Also, since this is a legs-closed position, the sensations will be more intense for both, and ideal for adding a couples’ massager into play.
Cons: The more vigorous the sex, the more endurance the receiver will need in their arms and thighs, but a sexy little workout might be just what you’re looking for! will need in her upper arms and thighs.
4. The Plough
Similar in principle to the Necklace of Venus but very different in practice, this intimate sex position requires the receiver to lie on their back on any waist-high surface and wrap their legs around the middle of their partner’s back.
This sex position encourages a slower pace than The Necklace, with lots of eye contact and deep, fulfilling penetration.
Pros: A far more relaxing position for the receiver, plus full eyefuls of the action for both. Both partners can control the pace and intensity of sex, and the face to face perspective allows for romance, talking, laughing and kissing.
Cons: Surface height will make all the difference here, as an awkward crouch will make this position go from ‘Ooooh’ to ‘Uncomfy’ for the thrusting partner pretty fast.
3. The Hanging Garden
This sex position requires no furniture and no props, and as such it can be performed anywhere, any time (within reason. And within the law).
Quite simply, the couple are face to face, then the thrusting partner uses their hands cupped under their partner’s bum to hoist them up. The receiving partner wraps their legs around their partner’s waist for support, which can also be added with a firm embrace.
Add a vibrating cock ring to the mix and it will direct vibrations to your partner’s external erogenous zones.
Pros: It’s an energetic and bold position for passionate lovers, and when it’s used when you’re having sex outside, it’s beautiful. It’s also a great way for the penetrating partner to take control and show off a bit.
Cons: It is quite hard work, and it definitely favors petite receiving partners. In addition, good balance is going to make or break the Hanging Garden!
2. The Wheelbarrow
Sure, it’s not a very sexy name for a sexual position, but believe us, in practice, the Wheelbarrow is plenty sexy. It’s also very fun and never fails to prompt laughter and silliness, so it’s perfect for experimental couples looking for something less serious from their sex lives.
The receiver should start in a press-up position, and their partner can then slip between the receiver’s legs, take hold of their ankles or thighs, and lift their lower body off the floor. The thrusting partner then holds them there and begins to penetrate while their partner supports their torso with their arms.
Pros: Like we said, this is a fun position, and with a little practice it’s a pleasurable one too. Mostly though, it’s just for play, and it’s a good core strengthening exercise.
Cons: It’s for reasonably strong couples, and it doesn’t really encourage very deep penetration.
1. The Frisk
Very simple, very satisfying and a staple of any fulfilling sex life, this standing sexual position is called ‘The Frisk’ because the the receiver’s stance – hands against the wall, bending slightly forward, feet apart – is similar to a police body search.
It’s also great because both couples can be in control of the speed and intensity of the action.
Pros: This sexual position is perfect for tight spaces, like showers and small rooms, and great if you’re in a rush. What’s more, this position allows the thrusting partner to hold some hair and incorporate spanking to heat things up even further.
Cons: It can become a little awkward if there’s a significant height difference between the couple, but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome with some experimentation.
*In this article, for ease of reader understanding, we are using the words sex and intercourse as synonymous, as is done in popular culture in general. Similarly, we use the word “foreplay” the way it is used in popular culture (i.e., the sexual acts such as oral sex that come before intercourse). However, as aptly pointed out by our sex expert Laurie Mintz, we would also like to acknowledge that such language exalts men’s most reliable rout to orgasm and linguistically erases women’s most reliable route to orgasm—clitoral stimulation, either alone or coupled with penetration. Indeed, only between 4% and 18% of women reliably orgasm from penetration alone. We look forward to the day when such language is not commonly used in culture.
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Facts checked by:
Dr. Laurie Mintz
Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Florida, teaching Human Sexuality to hundreds of students a year. She has published over 50 research articles and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Mintz also has maintained a private practice for over 30 years, working with individuals and couples on general and sexual issues. She is also an author and speaker, spreading scientifically-accurate, sex-positive information to enhance sexual pleasure.
Katy Thorn and Dr. Laurie Mintz